Magistrates' letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales, 1834-1839 [manuscript]
0.45 m. (1 fol. box)
Scope and Content
Magistrates' letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales. The letterbook comprises copies of letters signed for the Dungog and Port Stephens magistrates' benches from 3 January 1834-2 March 1839.
The letters frequently refer to the tickets of leave that were sent to prisoners from the Dungog Police Office. The recipient prisoners are usually identified by name in the margins of the letters. Other business of the Bench included permission for prisoners to leave the area, the conduct of prisoners including prisoners who are illegally at large, transfer of prisoners to other goals, and certificates of freedom. There are requisitions for handcuffs, arms and ammunition for the service of the constabulary. Criminal offences discussed include the theft of horses, house breaking and robbery, and cedar cutting on Crown lands. The Bench also dealt with matters relating to native prisoners and the distribution of blankets to Aborigines of the district. Other concerns include procuring the government gazette for the use of the Bench, fines collected by the Bench, the supply of rations to captives in the lockup, and salaries for the Police Office personnel. One letter conveys a request from the residents of the district for the establishment of a post office. The letters also allude to the conduct of business when there is no magistrate in the district.
The letters are mostly addressed to the Colonial Secretary or the Principal Superintendent of Convicts in Sydney. Other addressees include His Majesty's Attorney-General, Colonial Storekeeper, Bench of Magistrates at Patterson, Maitland Superintendent of Police, Major of Brigade in Sydney, and the Commission for the Australian Agricultural Company.
The bulk of the letters are signed by Thomas Cook at the Dungog Police Office. Captain Thomas Cook of Auchentorlie, J.P., was made a magistrate in 1834, and become the first magistrate of Dungog. The earliest letter to bear Thomas Cook's name is dated 12 December 1834. Other letters are signed by George Mackenzie, J.P. for the Bench; R.G. Moffat, Captain of the 17th Regiment, J.P., and visiting magistrate to the Upper Williams River; and D.F. Mackay, Clerk of the Court. The township of Upper Williams was renamed as "Dungog" in 1834 and its court house was built by 1835. At this time the police magistrate from Dungog was directed to visit the township of Port Stephens once a fortnight.
Dungog (N.S.W.). Court. (1834). Magistrates' letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales, Retrieved October 24, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-232787744
Dungog (N.S.W.). Court. Magistrates' letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales, : , 1834. Web. 24 October 2017 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-232787744>
Dungog (N.S.W.). Court. 1834, Magistrates' letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales, , viewed 24 October 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-232787744
| author1=Dungog (N.S.W.). Court.
| title=Magistrates' letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales,
| accessdate=24 October 2017
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